Prequel of the Bible: War in Heaven | TBN

Prequel of the Bible: War in Heaven

Watch Prequel of the Bible: War in Heaven
November 24, 2019
27:30

It Is Written with John Bradshaw

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Prequel of the Bible: War in Heaven

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  • -John Bradshaw: This is It Is Written.
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  • I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for joining me.
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  • [soft instrumental music]
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  • The desert is a stark, harsh landscape.
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  • It's a beautiful yet an extreme environment.
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  • It's not the sort of place you want to get lost.
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  • There's never a lot of water,
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  • and there are plenty of creatures
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  • you want to be wary of encountering.
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  • It's here in the desert,
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  • in our series "The Prequel of the Bible,"
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  • that we investigate an important story.
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  • It's not a well-known story, but it's a vital story.
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  • It was written over a period of 1.500 years,
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  • and it's not a story that fits together neatly.
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  • It's one you have to piece together.
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  • But unscrambling this story is essential
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  • if we're going to understand
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  • some of the most important questions
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  • that you could ever ask about our world and about God.
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  • This backstory of the Bible gives us
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  • critically important information.
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  • It tells us what happened to God's original creation.
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  • The Bible says that this planet was intentionally
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  • and systematically created.
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  • God was so enthusiastic about it that in Genesis 1:31,
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  • He said that it was "very good."
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  • This was a world that reflected God's character.
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  • That perfect earth had lovingkindness
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  • as its organizing principle.
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  • Nothing hurt. Nothing destroyed. Nothing killed.
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  • The system upon which the earth was based
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  • was one of mutual giving, mutual blessing.
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  • Everything blessed and benefited everything else.
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  • It's a system so foreign to what we see today
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  • it's just about impossible to imagine.
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  • The system we know, the one that we're surrounded by
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  • and immersed in, is one where taking, or selfishness,
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  • is the organizing principle.
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  • Look around.
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  • Just about every living creature in our world
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  • and virtually everything that we human beings do
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  • demonstrates this system.
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  • Consider the scorpion. It's an incredible thing.
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  • It stalks its prey and then grabs it with powerful claws
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  • and delivers an excruciating, deadly venom with the stinger
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  • on the tip of its tail.
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  • Its prey dies in agony.
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  • The venom is so powerful that some types of scorpion
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  • are capable of killing humans.
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  • And whether you are fascinated or revulsed by scorpions,
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  • I think we can agree they don't reflect the loving,
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  • giving, selfless character of God as described in the Bible.
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  • In fact, a careful reading of the Bible tells us
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  • that God did not create this cunningly
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  • and intentionally designed creature as we now see it.
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  • And that raises some hugely important questions.
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  • And one of those questions is,
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  • if God did not create the earth and all of its lifeforms
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  • with selfishness as its organizing principle,
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  • then how did the world come to be overtaken by this system?
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  • And what does the existence of this creature say about God,
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  • whom the Bible describes as all-powerful?
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  • If in the beginning He created this world to be kind and gentle
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  • and only blessing, how did He allow it to become so twisted?
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  • To find out, we go to the prequel of the Bible.
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  • We'll start a little more than halfway through the Bible
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  • in the book of Ezekiel.
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  • [soft music]
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  • In Ezekiel 28 we find the beginning of a story
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  • about a high-ranking angel who was beautiful and full of wisdom
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  • and who led an extraordinary life.
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  • This angel was evidently adorned with the most beautiful jewels
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  • and gold.
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  • And as we're told in verse 14,
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  • he was the anointed covering cherub
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  • who was in attendance to God.
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  • Now, this was a very highly ranked angel,
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  • perhaps the highest ranking of all of the angels in heaven,
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  • first in authority and responsibility
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  • in God's government.
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  • [soft music]
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  • The God of heaven is the Ruler and the Lord of this universe,
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  • and His administration is an organized system.
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  • Ephesians chapter 3 makes clear that God wants us to understand
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  • how that administration functions.
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  • He wants us to understand and appreciate
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  • how the universe operates.
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  • And He wants us to understand that even more clearly
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  • when we look at the life and the ministry and the death of Jesus.
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  • What's taking place here on the earth
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  • is very important to heaven.
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  • I'll have more in just a moment.
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  • [music]
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  • -Announcer: For thousands of years,
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  • humanity has spoken of a paradise called heaven.
  • 00:05:12.120 --> 00:05:15.110
  • But what does the Bible say about heaven?
  • 00:05:15.120 --> 00:05:17.260
  • Where is it? How do we get there?
  • 00:05:17.270 --> 00:05:19.220
  • And once we're there, what comes next?
  • 00:05:19.230 --> 00:05:22.050
  • Find out by getting today's free offer,
  • 00:05:22.060 --> 00:05:24.170
  • "As Good As It Gets."
  • 00:05:24.180 --> 00:05:26.070
  • To receive this free guide,
  • 00:05:26.080 --> 00:05:27.230
  • call 800-253-3000
  • 00:05:27.240 --> 00:05:30.190
  • or visit us online at iiwoffer.com.
  • 00:05:30.200 --> 00:05:34.200
  • Learn what God's Word actually says about heaven.
  • 00:05:34.210 --> 00:05:37.150
  • Call 800-253-3000.
  • 00:05:37.160 --> 00:05:40.120
  • -John Bradshaw: Thanks for joining me on It Is Written.
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  • I'm John Bradshaw.
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  • The earth was created perfect.
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  • There was no crime, no violence, there was no selfishness,
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  • there were no thorns, and there was no venom.
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  • Way back then, there was a perfect angel.
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  • But he rebelled against God, against God's character,
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  • and ultimately against God's creation.
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  • [soft guitar music]
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  • Ezekiel tells us all about it in Ezekiel chapter 28
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  • and verse 15, where he says that the angel was perfect
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  • in all of his ways until "iniquity was found in you."
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  • Now, there was no excuse for his sin,
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  • no reason for his rebellion.
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  • There was no cause for his grievance against God.
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  • Verse 17 says that he became proud in his heart
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  • because of his beauty and that he corrupted his wisdom
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  • for the sake of his splendor.
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  • The story continues when we get to Isaiah chapter 14,
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  • verses 12 through 14.
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  • Here the rebellious angel is named.
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  • His name is Lucifer.
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  • And we get some real insights
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  • into what he's doing and thinking.
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  • [ominous music]
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  • It says, speaking of Lucifer,
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  • "You have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven,
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  • I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
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  • I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
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  • on the farthest sides of the north;
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  • I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
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  • I will be like the Most High.'"
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  • So Lucifer set in motion a plan to take God's place
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  • and usurp God's authority.
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  • It wasn't enough for Lucifer to occupy an important place
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  • in the government of heaven.
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  • He wanted to be the emperor.
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  • The story continues in the last book of the Bible, Revelation,
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  • and in chapter 12, what we find is absolutely riveting.
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  • Satan launches an attack,
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  • Satan rebels against the government of God,
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  • and he convinces other angels to follow him.
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  • According to verses 3 and 4,
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  • 1/3 of the angels of heaven are recruited by Satan
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  • to stand on his side in the rebellion.
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  • Now, of course, when it comes to recruiting angels,
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  • Satan has something of an advantage
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  • by dint of his authority
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  • and the respect that he has among the angels.
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  • But even so, you have to wonder what he could have said
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  • to convince the angels to follow him.
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  • They were in heaven, after all.
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  • And they were rebelling against God.
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  • But something he said convinced a third of the angels of heaven
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  • to stand against God and with Lucifer.
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  • The picture becomes clearer in verse 7, where it says,
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  • "And war broke out in heaven:
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  • Michael and His angels fought with the dragon;
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  • and the dragon and his angels fought."
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  • So there was a war in heaven.
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  • Now, not a war with weapons, as we understand them.
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  • In the original Greek language, the word translated as "war"
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  • is the word "polemos,"
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  • from which we also get the words "polemics" and "politics,"
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  • which are contests of ideas.
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  • There's also the idea of bustle and commotion
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  • attached to that word.
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  • So when we read about war in heaven,
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  • what we're reading about
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  • is an intense and passionate war of ideas.
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  • [music]
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  • Now, I mentioned to you that there are some creatures
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  • you want to be wary of encountering in the wild.
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  • And this is one of them.
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  • Well, it is, and it isn't.
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  • That is, the beaded lizard isn't found in the United States,
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  • so, if you're in the US, you have nothing to worry about.
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  • He's found in Mexico and throughout Central America,
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  • but even then you don't have much to worry about.
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  • They're not likely to tangle with you
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  • unless you get tangled up with them.
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  • They are venomous,
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  • but they don't really deliver that venom very easily.
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  • You've got to give them a really good reason
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  • to want to deliver the venom, and even then,
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  • he does so with some considerable effort.
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  • Beautiful creatures!
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  • They're called beaded lizards because they're covered
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  • in these amazing beads.
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  • Now, we'd agree that toxic venom probably was not
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  • God's "Plan A" for creatures.
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  • Except even today, the toxic venom has properties
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  • that are used in pharmaceuticals.
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  • So, the venom, while it's a negative,
  • 00:10:19.170 --> 00:10:23.010
  • is also a real positive and benefits human beings.
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  • [soft solemn music]
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  • So the question, of course, is,
  • 00:10:27.170 --> 00:10:29.220
  • does this creature reflect the character of God?
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  • Does it reflect lovingkindness, peace, and mercy?
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  • Does the creature fundamentally give
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  • as the basis for its existence?
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  • Does it pass on a blessing to every other creature
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  • it interacts with?
  • 00:10:49.010 --> 00:10:49.290
  • Well, if it doesn't, why does it not do that?
  • 00:10:50.000 --> 00:10:54.240
  • Obviously, with a creature like this, we can see real positives,
  • 00:10:54.250 --> 00:10:59.220
  • and we can see some things that we might say,
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  • hmm, probably wasn't intended to be this way in the beginning
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  • at the creation.
  • 00:11:05.270 --> 00:11:07.290
  • So to really answer this question,
  • 00:11:08.000 --> 00:11:10.240
  • to try to decipher this riddle, we've got to go back,
  • 00:11:10.250 --> 00:11:14.160
  • back to the prequel of the Bible.
  • 00:11:14.170 --> 00:11:17.130
  • We go back to the story of Lucifer.
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  • What Lucifer did was attack the government of God
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  • on a political level.
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  • He ran history's first ever political campaign.
  • 00:11:29.260 --> 00:11:33.200
  • And if it was anything like the political campaigns
  • 00:11:33.210 --> 00:11:35.280
  • that we're familiar with,
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  • he no doubt smeared the character of God
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  • while taking the opportunity to present his own character
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  • in the best possible light.
  • 00:11:44.070 --> 00:11:46.060
  • While attacking the government of God,
  • 00:11:46.070 --> 00:11:48.200
  • he was attacking the character of God,
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  • because the government of God was set up to run on principles
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  • consistent with God's character.
  • 00:11:53.290 --> 00:11:56.290
  • Now, political campaigns don't stop
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  • with simply character smears and misrepresentation.
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  • There's always some kind of platform.
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  • Lucifer wanted to be like God. He wanted to be above God.
  • 00:12:05.130 --> 00:12:09.280
  • Essentially, he was running for the position
  • 00:12:09.290 --> 00:12:12.210
  • of the administrator of the universe.
  • 00:12:12.220 --> 00:12:15.280
  • He was saying to the angels in heaven,
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  • "I have a better organizing principle for the universe
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  • than that which God has."
  • 00:12:22.170 --> 00:12:24.180
  • He couldn't simply say,
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  • "I'm a good guy, and my opponent isn't. Join me."
  • 00:12:26.070 --> 00:12:29.160
  • He offered a better way forward for the universe.
  • 00:12:29.170 --> 00:12:33.210
  • So what was Satan's better way?
  • 00:12:33.220 --> 00:12:36.080
  • I'll tell you in just a moment.
  • 00:12:36.090 --> 00:12:37.270
  • [music]
  • 00:12:37.280 --> 00:12:43.270
  • -Announcer: For thousands of years,
  • 00:12:46.270 --> 00:12:48.110
  • humanity has spoken of a paradise called heaven.
  • 00:12:48.120 --> 00:12:51.160
  • But what does the Bible say about heaven?
  • 00:12:51.170 --> 00:12:54.000
  • Where is it? How do we get there?
  • 00:12:54.010 --> 00:12:55.250
  • And once we're there, what comes next?
  • 00:12:55.260 --> 00:12:58.080
  • Find out by getting today's free offer,
  • 00:12:58.090 --> 00:13:00.210
  • "As Good As It Gets."
  • 00:13:00.220 --> 00:13:02.110
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  • [snake rattles tail]
  • 00:13:18.080 --> 00:13:20.170
  • -John Bradshaw: Thanks for joining me on It Is Written.
  • 00:13:20.180 --> 00:13:23.190
  • Rattlesnakes are found across North America,
  • 00:13:23.200 --> 00:13:27.040
  • and you know you've found one when you hear one.
  • 00:13:27.050 --> 00:13:30.280
  • [snake rattles tail]
  • 00:13:30.290 --> 00:13:35.020
  • That distinctive rattle sound is well-known.
  • 00:13:35.260 --> 00:13:39.150
  • Now, they're especially common here in the desert,
  • 00:13:39.160 --> 00:13:41.200
  • and they're venomous.
  • 00:13:41.210 --> 00:13:43.230
  • So if you come across one, you don't want to tangle with it.
  • 00:13:43.240 --> 00:13:47.210
  • It's best to show them respect and then leave well alone.
  • 00:13:47.220 --> 00:13:52.200
  • Dr. William Hayes is a professor of biology
  • 00:13:57.190 --> 00:13:59.290
  • at Loma Linda University in southern California.
  • 00:14:00.020 --> 00:14:03.100
  • He's an expert on these creatures.
  • 00:14:03.110 --> 00:14:05.110
  • He knows just how dangerous they are
  • 00:14:05.120 --> 00:14:07.280
  • and why human beings are so terrified of them.
  • 00:14:07.290 --> 00:14:12.010
  • -Dr. William Hayes: Why are so many people terrified of snakes?
  • 00:14:12.020 --> 00:14:14.160
  • That's a real good question.
  • 00:14:14.170 --> 00:14:15.260
  • Some of that is going to be a history of interacting
  • 00:14:15.270 --> 00:14:18.280
  • with snakes that, um--
  • 00:14:18.290 --> 00:14:21.050
  • it's probably been built into our genes
  • 00:14:21.060 --> 00:14:23.130
  • where we recognize this is something dangerous.
  • 00:14:23.140 --> 00:14:27.090
  • We see this in primates, for example,
  • 00:14:27.100 --> 00:14:29.030
  • in areas where there's venomous snakes,
  • 00:14:29.040 --> 00:14:31.120
  • they are instinctively fearful.
  • 00:14:31.130 --> 00:14:33.170
  • In areas where they don't have venomous snakes around,
  • 00:14:33.180 --> 00:14:36.170
  • they're not so frightened.
  • 00:14:36.180 --> 00:14:38.000
  • So there's probably some genetic basis to this,
  • 00:14:38.010 --> 00:14:40.150
  • an instinctive basis in humans.
  • 00:14:40.160 --> 00:14:42.160
  • But, um, to a larger extent,
  • 00:14:42.170 --> 00:14:44.220
  • I think there's a lot of conditioned fear.
  • 00:14:44.230 --> 00:14:47.020
  • We're taught to fear them when we're young.
  • 00:14:47.030 --> 00:14:48.170
  • A lot of times that fear is inappropriate.
  • 00:14:48.180 --> 00:14:52.240
  • So these are designed to kill.
  • 00:14:52.250 --> 00:14:55.030
  • You know, they've, they've got the triangular head that has--
  • 00:14:55.040 --> 00:14:58.240
  • they have a large gland on each side, a venom gland.
  • 00:14:58.250 --> 00:15:01.200
  • -John: Yep.
  • 00:15:01.210 --> 00:15:02.230
  • -Dr. Hayes: And, uh, they've got a pair of fangs,
  • 00:15:02.240 --> 00:15:04.110
  • and, uh, those are going to inject the venom into their prey
  • 00:15:04.120 --> 00:15:07.140
  • or, when they're defensive, into an antagonist or a predator.
  • 00:15:07.150 --> 00:15:11.250
  • So they're really effectively designed to kill.
  • 00:15:11.260 --> 00:15:14.040
  • When it comes to us, uh,
  • 00:15:14.050 --> 00:15:15.120
  • for the most part, they have no desire to do that.
  • 00:15:15.130 --> 00:15:18.020
  • They don't want to be around us.
  • 00:15:18.030 --> 00:15:19.100
  • They're frightened by us.
  • 00:15:19.110 --> 00:15:20.170
  • Their heart rate will actually start beating really rapidly
  • 00:15:20.180 --> 00:15:23.290
  • when they encounter us.
  • 00:15:24.000 --> 00:15:25.000
  • The only time they would come our direction
  • 00:15:25.010 --> 00:15:26.290
  • is when they have a place of retreat that's behind us
  • 00:15:27.000 --> 00:15:30.250
  • that they're trying to get to.
  • 00:15:30.260 --> 00:15:32.030
  • If we just let them go their way, um,
  • 00:15:32.040 --> 00:15:34.170
  • they're not going to chase us down;
  • 00:15:34.180 --> 00:15:35.280
  • they're not going to harm us.
  • 00:15:35.290 --> 00:15:37.120
  • -John: You sure?
  • 00:15:37.130 --> 00:15:38.240
  • -Dr. Hayes: I am positive.
  • 00:15:38.250 --> 00:15:40.230
  • So when you see a snake in the wild, uh,
  • 00:15:40.240 --> 00:15:42.150
  • I always recommend:
  • 00:15:42.160 --> 00:15:44.000
  • Leave the animal alone; admire it from a safe distance.
  • 00:15:44.010 --> 00:15:48.010
  • For something venomous,
  • 00:15:48.020 --> 00:15:49.130
  • that should be two or three steps away or more.
  • 00:15:49.140 --> 00:15:52.270
  • But, uh, we certainly can admire the beauty.
  • 00:15:52.280 --> 00:15:55.110
  • I mean, God didn't make junk.
  • 00:15:55.120 --> 00:15:57.120
  • And, uh, uh, but we don't need to kill it.
  • 00:15:57.130 --> 00:16:01.110
  • Uh, that animal has a place in God's creation.
  • 00:16:01.120 --> 00:16:05.010
  • [snake rattling tail]
  • 00:16:05.020 --> 00:16:06.040
  • -John: Should we be worried that he's, uh, rattling?
  • 00:16:06.050 --> 00:16:08.040
  • -Dr. Hayes: No, we're okay.
  • 00:16:08.050 --> 00:16:09.010
  • -John: Oh really?
  • 00:16:09.020 --> 00:16:10.010
  • -Dr. Hayes: This one's a pussycat. [chuckles]
  • 00:16:10.020 --> 00:16:11.150
  • I could probably put him around my neck,
  • 00:16:11.160 --> 00:16:12.250
  • which I would never do.
  • 00:16:12.260 --> 00:16:13.220
  • But this one's very gentle.
  • 00:16:13.230 --> 00:16:14.260
  • [snake rattling tail]
  • 00:16:14.270 --> 00:16:16.000
  • -John: But knowing this snake as well as you know it--
  • 00:16:16.010 --> 00:16:18.090
  • you describe him as a "pussycat"--
  • 00:16:18.100 --> 00:16:20.080
  • knowing how to handle snakes as well as you handle them,
  • 00:16:20.090 --> 00:16:22.170
  • you'd never take a risk?
  • 00:16:22.180 --> 00:16:23.200
  • -Dr. Hayes: No, I don't want to get bit. [chuckles]
  • 00:16:23.210 --> 00:16:25.230
  • A bite is really, really dangerous.
  • 00:16:25.240 --> 00:16:28.080
  • -John: But even though you might know the guy,
  • 00:16:28.090 --> 00:16:29.240
  • and you're saying, "Ah, he'd be fine,"
  • 00:16:29.250 --> 00:16:31.110
  • you'd still, you just wouldn't push your luck then?
  • 00:16:31.120 --> 00:16:33.050
  • -Dr. Hayes: Nope. My odds of survival are very good.
  • 00:16:33.060 --> 00:16:36.040
  • In the U.S. it's going to be 99, about 999 out of 1.000.
  • 00:16:36.050 --> 00:16:40.170
  • Uh, there's only about five deaths a year in 5.000 bites.
  • 00:16:40.180 --> 00:16:44.030
  • But I could run up a half-million-dollar
  • 00:16:44.040 --> 00:16:45.270
  • hospital bill, and I might wish I was dead.
  • 00:16:45.280 --> 00:16:48.030
  • -John: Yep, yep.
  • 00:16:48.040 --> 00:16:49.120
  • -Dr. Hayes: So, uh, here at Loma Linda,
  • 00:16:49.130 --> 00:16:51.130
  • we find that 80 percent of the bites are to males,
  • 00:16:51.140 --> 00:16:55.110
  • like you and me.
  • 00:16:55.120 --> 00:16:57.040
  • Forty-five percent of the time they're interacting
  • 00:16:57.050 --> 00:16:59.080
  • with the snake, they're playing for it;
  • 00:16:59.090 --> 00:17:00.190
  • they're asking to get bit.
  • 00:17:00.200 --> 00:17:02.130
  • Twenty percent of the time there's alcohol involved.
  • 00:17:02.140 --> 00:17:04.180
  • -John: Oh really?
  • 00:17:04.190 --> 00:17:05.200
  • -Dr. Hayes: So, yeah, snake bites are associated
  • 00:17:05.210 --> 00:17:07.100
  • with the two most dangerous chemicals in the world--
  • 00:17:07.110 --> 00:17:10.070
  • testosterone and alcohol.
  • 00:17:10.080 --> 00:17:12.010
  • -John: Hmmmmmm. [Dr. Hayes chuckles]
  • 00:17:12.020 --> 00:17:13.280
  • -Dr. Hayes: Now, even though these guys are designed to kill,
  • 00:17:13.290 --> 00:17:16.280
  • their venom can be used by humans to save human lives.
  • 00:17:16.290 --> 00:17:21.000
  • There are a number of medications that are,
  • 00:17:21.010 --> 00:17:22.280
  • are designed from their venom,
  • 00:17:22.290 --> 00:17:25.030
  • and there's research actually showing that if you inject
  • 00:17:25.040 --> 00:17:27.260
  • the venom into somebody several days before their surgery,
  • 00:17:27.270 --> 00:17:32.210
  • they should have less bleeding during the surgery,
  • 00:17:32.220 --> 00:17:34.250
  • because the venom provokes bleeding;
  • 00:17:34.260 --> 00:17:37.160
  • the body tries to stop that bleeding.
  • 00:17:37.170 --> 00:17:39.150
  • -John: Mmm.
  • 00:17:39.160 --> 00:17:40.060
  • -Dr. Hayes: So during surgery,
  • 00:17:40.070 --> 00:17:41.200
  • you've got that reduction of bleeding that, uh,
  • 00:17:41.210 --> 00:17:45.010
  • is a benefit from the venom.
  • 00:17:45.020 --> 00:17:47.100
  • We can rest assured that these animals were very different
  • 00:17:47.110 --> 00:17:49.240
  • before sin came into the world.
  • 00:17:49.250 --> 00:17:51.180
  • Uh, the best understanding we probably have
  • 00:17:51.190 --> 00:17:55.160
  • is looking at Isaiah where we're told what snakes will be like
  • 00:17:55.170 --> 00:17:58.250
  • in heaven, where, uh, a child can sit
  • 00:17:58.260 --> 00:18:01.150
  • next to the nest of a cobra, and a child does not have to fear.
  • 00:18:01.160 --> 00:18:06.030
  • So we know they weren't harmful.
  • 00:18:06.040 --> 00:18:08.060
  • There's been a lot of change that's happened
  • 00:18:08.070 --> 00:18:09.210
  • since the creation.
  • 00:18:09.220 --> 00:18:11.120
  • Uh, I would say that's God creating in life
  • 00:18:11.130 --> 00:18:15.190
  • the ability to change,
  • 00:18:15.200 --> 00:18:17.140
  • the ability to adapt to a, uh, a sinful world
  • 00:18:17.150 --> 00:18:21.160
  • where there's death.
  • 00:18:21.170 --> 00:18:22.290
  • And, um, and it's led to amazing biodiversity where animals
  • 00:18:23.000 --> 00:18:27.030
  • become uniquely adapted to many different environments.
  • 00:18:27.040 --> 00:18:30.150
  • The, the richness of different lifeforms that we see--
  • 00:18:30.160 --> 00:18:33.180
  • it's extraordinary.
  • 00:18:33.190 --> 00:18:35.080
  • The years that I've spent studying these snakes
  • 00:18:35.090 --> 00:18:37.210
  • has given me a lot of insight into the natural world,
  • 00:18:37.220 --> 00:18:40.190
  • a, a better understanding of, uh, I would say,
  • 00:18:40.200 --> 00:18:44.080
  • God's concern about, uh, the natural environments.
  • 00:18:44.090 --> 00:18:48.200
  • I think that, uh, snakes have a special place in nature.
  • 00:18:48.210 --> 00:18:53.220
  • God's kept them there,
  • 00:18:53.230 --> 00:18:55.200
  • and, um, it's taught me to be a lot more respectful.
  • 00:18:55.210 --> 00:18:58.130
  • I don't want to be one that goes out and injures nature.
  • 00:18:58.140 --> 00:19:02.050
  • And, um, it's also because of the, the danger to humans,
  • 00:19:02.060 --> 00:19:07.030
  • which is sometimes overstated, but, but very real.
  • 00:19:07.040 --> 00:19:10.130
  • Um, I, I've, I've gained a better recognition of the fact
  • 00:19:10.140 --> 00:19:14.060
  • that healthy humans need healthy environments.
  • 00:19:14.070 --> 00:19:16.180
  • We can't just go removing this species or that species
  • 00:19:16.190 --> 00:19:19.120
  • to make it a safer place for us, because it's all working
  • 00:19:19.130 --> 00:19:22.280
  • together in an amazing way that God has put together,
  • 00:19:22.290 --> 00:19:26.030
  • and we've been given responsibility
  • 00:19:26.040 --> 00:19:27.180
  • to take care of it, even the snakes.
  • 00:19:27.190 --> 00:19:29.290
  • [soft guitar music]
  • 00:19:30.240 --> 00:19:33.140
  • -John: Now let's continue to follow our story.
  • 00:19:33.150 --> 00:19:36.000
  • Lucifer is in open rebellion,
  • 00:19:36.010 --> 00:19:38.250
  • and at this point God changes his name to Satan,
  • 00:19:38.260 --> 00:19:42.230
  • meaning "enemy" or "adversary" or, fittingly, "opponent."
  • 00:19:42.240 --> 00:19:47.240
  • In Revelation 12:7 and 8, we're told that Satan and his angels
  • 00:19:47.250 --> 00:19:51.040
  • lost the war in heaven,
  • 00:19:51.050 --> 00:19:52.210
  • and they were evicted from heaven and cast to the earth.
  • 00:19:52.220 --> 00:19:56.260
  • So Satan is on the earth, having lost the war in heaven,
  • 00:19:56.270 --> 00:20:00.080
  • but he hasn't given up his claims against God.
  • 00:20:00.090 --> 00:20:03.190
  • He attacks God by attacking what was created in the image of God.
  • 00:20:03.200 --> 00:20:08.150
  • He attacked humanity: Adam and Eve.
  • 00:20:08.160 --> 00:20:11.180
  • Satan approached Eve using a snake as a medium.
  • 00:20:11.190 --> 00:20:15.250
  • And he stuck to the message he disseminated in heaven.
  • 00:20:15.260 --> 00:20:19.050
  • Look at what he says to Eve,
  • 00:20:19.060 --> 00:20:21.100
  • and it'll give you an idea of what he said
  • 00:20:21.110 --> 00:20:23.020
  • to the angels in heaven.
  • 00:20:23.030 --> 00:20:25.090
  • In Genesis 3:1-3, the serpent "said to the woman,
  • 00:20:25.100 --> 00:20:29.020
  • 'Has God indeed said,
  • 00:20:29.030 --> 00:20:31.040
  • "You shall not eat of every tree of the garden"?'
  • 00:20:31.050 --> 00:20:33.250
  • And the woman said to the serpent,
  • 00:20:33.260 --> 00:20:35.160
  • 'We may eat [of] the fruit of the trees of the garden;
  • 00:20:35.170 --> 00:20:38.030
  • but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst
  • 00:20:38.040 --> 00:20:40.100
  • of the garden, God has said,
  • 00:20:40.110 --> 00:20:42.000
  • "You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die."'"
  • 00:20:42.010 --> 00:20:46.070
  • Now, look at what Satan says in verses 4 and 5:
  • 00:20:46.080 --> 00:20:49.140
  • "Then the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not surely die.
  • 00:20:49.150 --> 00:20:54.200
  • For God knows that in the day you eat of it
  • 00:20:54.210 --> 00:20:57.060
  • your eyes will be opened,
  • 00:20:57.070 --> 00:20:59.010
  • and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.'"
  • 00:20:59.020 --> 00:21:04.010
  • Now, did you notice that? Satan called God a liar.
  • 00:21:04.020 --> 00:21:08.010
  • God said that they would die if they disobeyed,
  • 00:21:08.020 --> 00:21:10.160
  • and Satan said, "You will not surely die."
  • 00:21:10.170 --> 00:21:14.070
  • Then he said that if they ate the fruit,
  • 00:21:14.080 --> 00:21:16.250
  • they would become like God,
  • 00:21:16.260 --> 00:21:18.140
  • which meant that God was selfish and was keeping blessings
  • 00:21:18.150 --> 00:21:21.220
  • from them, and that the way to become like God
  • 00:21:21.230 --> 00:21:24.150
  • was through unbridled self-interest.
  • 00:21:24.160 --> 00:21:27.250
  • Satan said that God's system was designed to keep power
  • 00:21:27.260 --> 00:21:31.010
  • and achievement away from people.
  • 00:21:31.020 --> 00:21:33.270
  • A third of the angels believed the lie,
  • 00:21:33.280 --> 00:21:37.130
  • and so did Adam and Eve.
  • 00:21:37.140 --> 00:21:39.100
  • Satan won the second battle,
  • 00:21:39.110 --> 00:21:41.180
  • and the consequences were not only enormous and immediate,
  • 00:21:41.190 --> 00:21:45.190
  • but they continue to impact you and me daily.
  • 00:21:45.200 --> 00:21:49.120
  • One of the terrible consequences of Adam and Eve's sin
  • 00:21:50.020 --> 00:21:53.030
  • was a change in the management of the earth.
  • 00:21:53.040 --> 00:21:56.210
  • God had given Adam and Eve dominion over the earth,
  • 00:21:56.220 --> 00:21:59.290
  • but when Satan conquered them,
  • 00:22:00.020 --> 00:22:02.080
  • he took what was theirs as the spoils of war.
  • 00:22:02.090 --> 00:22:06.050
  • Revelation 12:9 says that Satan and his angels were cast down
  • 00:22:06.060 --> 00:22:10.180
  • to the earth.
  • 00:22:10.190 --> 00:22:11.220
  • The earth was not given to them.
  • 00:22:11.230 --> 00:22:14.120
  • But when we next see Satan in the book of Job,
  • 00:22:14.130 --> 00:22:16.280
  • he's attending a meeting of the sons of God, and he's there,
  • 00:22:16.290 --> 00:22:19.290
  • evidently, as the representative of this earth.
  • 00:22:20.000 --> 00:22:24.250
  • Jesus in John 12 and John 14
  • 00:22:24.260 --> 00:22:27.070
  • referred to Satan as "the prince of this world."
  • 00:22:27.080 --> 00:22:31.240
  • But the really critical thing is what Satan did
  • 00:22:31.250 --> 00:22:35.040
  • once he usurped our dominion.
  • 00:22:35.050 --> 00:22:37.150
  • This fallen angel, incredibly powerful,
  • 00:22:37.160 --> 00:22:41.040
  • stunningly intelligent, immediately began to twist
  • 00:22:41.050 --> 00:22:44.260
  • the earth and everything in it into a system that was based
  • 00:22:44.270 --> 00:22:49.190
  • on his organizing principle, the system of selfishness.
  • 00:22:49.200 --> 00:22:55.040
  • And the end result is the earth in which we live.
  • 00:22:55.050 --> 00:23:00.020
  • This is a world where God and His system based on love
  • 00:23:00.270 --> 00:23:05.160
  • is pitted against Satan and his system based on selfishness.
  • 00:23:05.170 --> 00:23:10.080
  • So why did God let Satan continue to exist
  • 00:23:10.090 --> 00:23:13.190
  • after his rebellion in heaven?
  • 00:23:13.200 --> 00:23:15.180
  • And why would He let Satan pervert the earth
  • 00:23:15.190 --> 00:23:17.260
  • and put his system of selfishness in place?
  • 00:23:17.270 --> 00:23:21.040
  • How does this campaign end?
  • 00:23:21.050 --> 00:23:23.080
  • And how does all of this relate to Jesus?
  • 00:23:23.090 --> 00:23:26.220
  • What we're going to see more and more clearly
  • 00:23:26.230 --> 00:23:29.040
  • is that selfishness is a terrible, terrible system
  • 00:23:29.050 --> 00:23:33.100
  • for running the earth.
  • 00:23:33.110 --> 00:23:34.230
  • We see the evidence for that in the world all around us.
  • 00:23:34.240 --> 00:23:38.130
  • [soft guitar music]
  • 00:23:38.140 --> 00:23:40.140
  • So what do we do,
  • 00:23:40.150 --> 00:23:41.180
  • living in a world that's full of selfishness and sin?
  • 00:23:41.190 --> 00:23:45.100
  • We can't get out.
  • 00:23:45.110 --> 00:23:46.210
  • So what can we do while we're here?
  • 00:23:46.220 --> 00:23:49.070
  • Paul made an interesting statement in Romans 6
  • 00:23:49.080 --> 00:23:52.030
  • in verse 16 when he said,
  • 00:23:52.040 --> 00:23:54.010
  • "Know ye not, that to whom [you] yield yourselves
  • 00:23:54.020 --> 00:23:58.130
  • servants to obey, his servants [you] are to whom [you] obey;
  • 00:23:58.140 --> 00:24:03.210
  • whether of sin unto death,
  • 00:24:03.220 --> 00:24:06.020
  • or of obedience unto righteousness?"
  • 00:24:06.030 --> 00:24:09.070
  • In this world of sin, we get to choose who we're going to serve.
  • 00:24:09.080 --> 00:24:13.000
  • If you wish, you can choose to serve sin,
  • 00:24:13.010 --> 00:24:16.190
  • and you know who you'd be serving if you did that.
  • 00:24:16.200 --> 00:24:19.180
  • Or you can choose to serve God, to serve obedience,
  • 00:24:19.190 --> 00:24:22.150
  • to serve righteousness.
  • 00:24:22.160 --> 00:24:24.130
  • The right choice to make is obvious,
  • 00:24:24.140 --> 00:24:26.210
  • but it might not be easy, and that's because our heart,
  • 00:24:26.220 --> 00:24:30.100
  • affected by sin, leans in the direction of sin.
  • 00:24:30.110 --> 00:24:34.060
  • We can war with ourselves, but you can make the choice
  • 00:24:34.070 --> 00:24:38.190
  • and invite the God who made a perfect earth,
  • 00:24:38.200 --> 00:24:41.270
  • and who is one day going to remake this sin-affected earth,
  • 00:24:41.280 --> 00:24:45.170
  • to remake your heart today.
  • 00:24:45.180 --> 00:24:48.140
  • After a disastrous fall into sin,
  • 00:24:48.150 --> 00:24:50.190
  • David prayed and said to God, "Create in me a clean heart,
  • 00:24:50.200 --> 00:24:54.140
  • O God; and renew a right spirit within me."
  • 00:24:54.150 --> 00:24:57.220
  • That's Psalm 51 in verse 10.
  • 00:24:57.230 --> 00:25:00.080
  • And God did.
  • 00:25:00.090 --> 00:25:01.280
  • And what God did for David, He'll do for you.
  • 00:25:01.290 --> 00:25:05.160
  • And that means, even though this world has been hijacked,
  • 00:25:05.170 --> 00:25:08.100
  • even though the government of the universe
  • 00:25:08.110 --> 00:25:09.240
  • has been dramatically impacted, you can have peace,
  • 00:25:09.250 --> 00:25:14.000
  • and you can know that eternal life is yours.
  • 00:25:14.010 --> 00:25:17.210
  • -John Bradshaw: Thank you for remembering that It Is Written
  • 00:25:19.110 --> 00:25:21.090
  • exists because of the kindness of people just like you.
  • 00:25:21.100 --> 00:25:24.220
  • To support this international life-changing ministry,
  • 00:25:24.230 --> 00:25:28.000
  • please call us now at 800-253-3000.
  • 00:25:28.010 --> 00:25:32.030
  • You can send your tax-deductible gift
  • 00:25:32.040 --> 00:25:33.210
  • to the address on your screen,
  • 00:25:33.220 --> 00:25:35.050
  • or you can visit us online at itiswritten.com.
  • 00:25:35.060 --> 00:25:39.000
  • Thank you for your prayers and for your financial support.
  • 00:25:39.010 --> 00:25:41.250
  • Our number again is 800-253-3000,
  • 00:25:41.260 --> 00:25:46.000
  • or you can visit us online at itiswritten.com.
  • 00:25:46.010 --> 00:25:49.000
  • -John Bradshaw: Let's pray together now.
  • 00:25:50.180 --> 00:25:52.060
  • Our Father in heaven,
  • 00:25:52.070 --> 00:25:53.090
  • [soft music] in Jesus' name we thank You
  • 00:25:53.100 --> 00:25:55.130
  • that though we live in a sin-affected world,
  • 00:25:55.140 --> 00:25:57.190
  • there is a way of escape; His name is Jesus.
  • 00:25:57.200 --> 00:26:00.200
  • That though Your government has been so dramatically impacted,
  • 00:26:00.210 --> 00:26:03.230
  • though the world has been hijacked,
  • 00:26:03.240 --> 00:26:07.110
  • we are grateful to know
  • 00:26:07.120 --> 00:26:09.090
  • that there is an eternal future for us
  • 00:26:09.100 --> 00:26:12.060
  • as our lives are surrendered to You.
  • 00:26:12.070 --> 00:26:14.010
  • We can choose You in the midst of the madness.
  • 00:26:14.020 --> 00:26:16.220
  • We can choose You in the midst of the confusion and the chaos,
  • 00:26:16.230 --> 00:26:19.130
  • and so we do.
  • 00:26:19.140 --> 00:26:20.240
  • Friend, would you choose God now?
  • 00:26:20.250 --> 00:26:22.150
  • Would you do that now?
  • 00:26:22.160 --> 00:26:23.270
  • Would you say, "Lord, I choose Your way.
  • 00:26:23.280 --> 00:26:26.130
  • I choose Your plan for my life"?
  • 00:26:26.140 --> 00:26:29.250
  • And as you do and as you surrender your heart to God,
  • 00:26:29.260 --> 00:26:32.060
  • you can know that you're a child of God
  • 00:26:32.070 --> 00:26:35.060
  • looking forward to a bright eternal future.
  • 00:26:35.070 --> 00:26:38.050
  • Father, we thank You today;
  • 00:26:38.060 --> 00:26:39.100
  • we trust You in spite of what we see around us.
  • 00:26:39.110 --> 00:26:42.220
  • We trust You; we love You; we thank You.
  • 00:26:42.230 --> 00:26:45.260
  • And we pray in Jesus' name.
  • 00:26:45.270 --> 00:26:48.130
  • Amen.
  • 00:26:48.140 --> 00:26:50.000
  • Thanks so much for joining me.
  • 00:26:50.010 --> 00:26:51.120
  • I'm looking forward to seeing you again next time.
  • 00:26:51.130 --> 00:26:53.180
  • Until then, remember:
  • 00:26:53.190 --> 00:26:55.020
  • "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone,
  • 00:26:55.030 --> 00:26:59.030
  • but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"
  • 00:26:59.040 --> 00:27:03.110
  • [theme music]
  • 00:27:03.120 --> 00:27:08.120